How Much of 2014 in Tech Do You Remember? Take Our Slightly Silly Quiz!

Mt. Gox? HP's split? WhatsApp? That was all this year, folks! See which stories you can still remember this late in the game.

2014 timessquare
REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

2014 began so full of hope

The year 2014 in tech: What was it, exactly? Well, if you're reading this site, you probably fancy yourself relatively well-informed on the subject. But do you remember the details? Do you know the nooks and crannies of the industry? Will you be able to handle our hopefully hilarious jokes? This quiz will test you -- and, we hope, surprise and amuse you along the way.

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satya happy
REUTERS/Jason Redmond

Q: What did new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella attribute his massive pay package to?

Microsoft's new CEO has only been on the job since February, but he still made a decent living this year: his total compensation for the year came to about $84 million dollars. Technically "only" about $11.6 million will actually make it into his bank account this year, but the rest is in stock grants that will be available to him in the future and are tied to his work in 2014. What was it that allowed him to achieve this flush financial state?

satya sad
REUTERS/Kevin Coombs

A: Karma!

While Nadella didn't address his own compensation directly, he did say, when asked about the gender pay gap in tech, that women should trust the system to give them the "right" raises, and that not asking for a raise would result in "good karma" for which they'd eventually be rewarded. $84 million sounds like a lot of karma being cashed in to us! Nadella later apologized.

marissa happy
REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

Q: What smart decision did Yahoo make that finally paid off this year?

Yahoo's been on an acquisition spree for years, and has only accelerated since Marissa Mayer came on as CEO in 2012. 2014 didn't see any blockbuster deals like the takeover of Tumblr, but the venerable portal went through a string of acquisitions and acqui-hires of businesses with funny names, like Incredible Labs and Wander and Vizify and RayV. But what Yahoo investment paid off best in 2014?

jack ma
Jack Ma, Alibaba's chairman. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

A: Investing in Alibaba

OK, this investment was a little before Mayer's time. Like seven years before. In 2005, Yahoo invested in a promising Chinese company called Alibaba in a deal that saw Yahoo take a substantial ownership stake. That bet paid off big after Alibaba's stratospheric IPO this fall. The downside? Yahoo's stake in Alibaba became more valuable than Yahoo itself, leaving the company a tempting target for activist investors who want to force a merger or strip it for parts.

nfc terminal

Q: How did major retailers react to Apple Pay?

When Apple introduces a new feature, the rest of the world often scrambles to defer to the lucrative whims of the faithful customers. But when Apple unveiled its widely anticipated Apple Pay feature in new iPhones, the wireless payment service turned out to work not just at the retailers who signed on as launch partners, but at just about any store that had NFC payment technology built into its payment terminal, which turned out to be a lot of them, even though almost nobody had been using the tech. So how did these businesses react when people started trying to give them money in a new and novel way?

iphone 6
REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

A: They closed it down!

A number of stores found themselves in an awkward position: they were in the middle of developing their own NFC payment system, CurrentC, which promises to be significantly less convenient for customers than Apple Pay but will supply stores with reams of data. A number of CurrentC consortium members blocked Apple Pay, and their control over payment systems may give CurrentC the edge, even though it's not available yet.

leo apo
REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Q: In 2011, HP was almost broken up. What's the new plan in 2014?

Hewlett-Packard went through a very rocky 2011, during which then-CEO Leo Apotheker proposed to spin off the company's iconic PC business. Apotheker was ousted due to discontent over this move and also over the company's disastrous Autonomy acquisition, and in September of that year former eBay head Meg Whitman took over. In February of 2013 she said there were "no plans to break up the company."

shadowy meg
REUTERS/Stephen Lam

A: Breaking up the company!

Breaking up Hewlett-Packard is "totally the right thing to do for this company," Whitman said in November of 2014. There will be two HPs by the end of 2015: HP Inc., selling PCs and printers, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, selling services and data center products.

REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Q: Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion. How far did that money get spread around?

Many Americans had never even heard of WhatsApp, but Facebook had good reason to buy it: it's wildly popular as a messaging and voice platform around the world, and it actually gets its customers to pay for its services, a rarity in the tech world. The $19 billion Facebook spent on it might seem a bit excessive -- it's roughly nine times the current market capitalization of the New York Times, for instance -- but surely a company worth that much must have a large, dynamic workforce to keep happy, right?

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WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum. REUTERS/Albert Gea

A: Not very far!

Turns out WhatsApp only has 55 employees. Even if you're just considering the $3 billion of the Facebook purchase price that goes in the form of stock to WhatsApp staff, that comes out to about $54 million each.

target atlanta

Q: What hacking attack had the biggest real-world impact?

2014 saw some major, major security breaches. There was Heartbleed, a vulnerability that affected millions of servers and left everyone with passwords they needed to chage; and Target, a store where just about everyone in America has shopped at some point or another, suffered a breach so dire that the the CEO was ousted.

rogan franco
REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian

A: Sony Pictures and 'The Interview'!

Despite the widespread nature of these breaches, there was one attack that hit the most iconic American institution: the gross-out buddy flick. The (apparently) North Korean-backed hacking of Sony Pictures led to the cancellation of the release of The Interview, a Seth Rogan/James Franco vehicle about the assassination of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un. (On the bright side, the hack leaked this delightful email from Channing Tatum.)

bitcoin machine
REUTERS/Mike Blake

Q: If you had invested $1,000 in Bitcoin on January 1, 2014, how much money would you have today?

I mean, who could blame you for wanting to convert your legacy government-backed currency into high-tech Bitcoin at the beginning of the year, right? After all, over the course of 2013, the value of the cryptocurrency shot up by a factor of 24. Surely what went up could only continue to go up!

mtgox protestors
REUTERS/Toru Hanai

A: $430.71

Well, the good news is you'd have almost half your money left! 2014 was not a very good year for Bitcoin, with the Mt. Gox implosion having a particularly strong negative effect.

REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Q: What bold new idea did BlackBerry come up with to reinvigorate its collapsing brand?

BlackBerry's been trying to catch up to the modern smartphone era for years now. The Z10 was supposed to bring the company to modern relevance, but it didn't break through. How could the company differentiate its offerings from all the other candybar touchscreen phones out there?

blackberry classic
REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

A: It's a classic!

BlackBerry has decided to go the nostalgia route, introducing the Classic, a phone with the modern Android-compatible QNX-based OS from BlackBerry's smartphone models but the form factor and physical keyboard BlackBerry addicts know and love. The company's made a lot of terrible moves over the years, but by providing the one thing nobody else is offering, they might just hang on.

jfruh tv

Q: What prediction by ITworld contributor Josh Fruhlinger was finally proved right?

Speaking of keyboards: five years ago, I dropped a hot take on the Apple blog I was writing for ITworld the, claiming that the iPad we all knew was coming would be difficult to use without a hardware keyboard. This got me invited to appear on a CNN segment about iPad skepticism. And we all know what happened next: the iPad was released to enormous contempt, Apple lost its shirt, and no imitators appeared.

Wait, no, the opposite of that happened. But could there have been a grain of truth in my Cassandra-like prediction?

The President seems unimpressed. REUTERS/Pete Souza/The White House/Handout

19. A: Tablet sales plummet

So it took half a decade, but the world is finally waking up to my prescient insight and stopping buying tablets, or at least buying fewer of them. Is it because people realized that typing on a glass screen is a pain? Or is it because literally everyone who could possibly want a tablet already bought one and doesn't need a new one yet? Perhaps 2015 will reveal the answer.